UCSD Coach David Marsh: One Minute Back To Breast Crossover Turn Clinic

by SwimSwam 16

January 05th, 2018 News, Training, Training Intel, Video

UCSD Head Swimming Coach David Marsh shared this one-minute turn clinic video with SwimSwam.

Coach Marsh: “A lot of young age groupers don’t do the backstroke to breaststroke crossover turn, and some simply don’t know how.”

UCSD David Marsh Bio, courtesy of UCSD:

David Marsh, a top-level coach of elite swimmers for over 30 years who guided the 2016 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team to 16 medals, was named the new head coach of the University of California San Diego men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs on June 27, 2017.

Marsh heads cross country to La Jolla from Charlotte, N.C., where he spent the past 10 years as the CEO and Director of Coaching of SwimMAC Carolina. Within that structure, Marsh established and coached Team Elite, which includes SwimMAC’s impressive list of professional swimmers. SwimMAC generated 14 Olympians for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Games during Marsh’s tenure, with that group compiling 11 gold, two silver and one bronze medal. All told, 38 USA Swimming national champions and 27 junior national champions came from SwimMAC the last decade.

Marsh led the women of Team USA to unprecedented success at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a final medal haul of eight gold, four silver and four bronze. That contingent featured the likes of Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Maya DiRado and Lilly King. Team Elite placed more U.S. Olympians than any program in the country, six, with Kathleen Baker, co-captain Anthony Ervin, Jimmy Feigen, Ryan Lochte and Katie Meili all earning gold medals.

During the summer of 2017, Marsh was in Indianapolis, Ind., for the Phillips 66 National Championships, aiding four of his Team Elite swimmers onto Team USA for the 17th FINA World Championships, for which he was in Budapest, Hungary, in late July as a technical advisor for Team Israel.

Prior to his time in Charlotte, Marsh was the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Auburn University from 1990-2007. He led the Tiger men to seven national titles, including five straight from 2003-07, and the women to five. Those five all came within a six-year span between 2002-07, with a runner-up showing in 2005. The men were also national runners-up three times under Marsh.

Additionally, Marsh’s Auburn Tigers combined for 17 Southeastern Conference (SEC) crowns, highlighted by 11 consecutive men’s championships from 1997-2007. He was a nine-time national and 13-time SEC Coach of the Year. Marsh coached countless All-Americans, 10 Academic All-Americans, and 49 Olympic athletes from 19 different countries.

For USA Swimming prior to 2016, Marsh was an assistant coach on the 2000, 2008 and 2012 Olympic staffs, and involved in numerous other competitions around the globe. He was named USA Swimming’s developmental Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014 for his work with SwimMAC.

Marsh swam at Auburn from 1978-81 and graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. His wife, Kristin, swam at California and is also an accomplished sports educator, most recently as head coach at Pine Lake Preparatory. Of their three children, Aaron is a junior track and field distance runner at Charlotte’s Queens University, Alyssa a sophomore swim team captain at Duke, and Maddie a high school senior. Alyssa placed fourth in the 50-meter butterfly at the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships.

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Looking at what team Elite actually produced for 2016 was not particularly impressive. Jimmy swam at TX, Ervin was with Salo among other coaches leading up, Baker was with Cal 9 months out of the year, Lochte was with Marsh for a while but swam sub par, Cullen, Kennedy, and Clary (Micha?) didn’t qualify. Leaving Katie M left.

Steve Nolan

hm, excellent point. this turn tip is worthless now.

Coach John

not really what the article is about…. that’s a bit of a tangent you went on there.


It’s exactly what the article is about; Marsh’s success and his bio/athletes accomplishments. The article happens to have a turn video independent of the actual content.

Coach John

they shared his bio from the UCSD website…. read the title… my point stands.


You have no point. There are eight paragraphs in the article devoted to his bio and one sentence referencing the turn. The article is entirely about Marsh and his bio.

Coach John

I will reiterate my point one last time for you again… the article is concerning (and titled accordingly) a drill he uses to do a a BK-BR crossover turn. they copy and pasted his bio below. go bash him on the other UCSD article if that is truly how you feel!


We must be reading a different article. The article (as defined as written content under the header), despite what the title indicates, is as a matter of fact Marsh’s bio no matter how badly you want it to be something else. It is completely irrelevant if the content was cut and pasted from some other site. Yes, there is a video on here on turns-yet it had nothing to do with the article itself. Eight paragraphs don’t lie. Go get’em.

Coach John

lol – yeh, that’s it champ, we’re reading different articles.


Do you not remember that he also has 12 NCAA division 1 national championship wins?


Whoa there. When Baker got that silver medal, everyone claimed it was due to Marsh because it’s cool to trash McKeever. You’re really bucking the trend by attributing that win to her time at Cal. Watch yourself. Anyway, -Lochte was lazy and unmotivated during the lead up to Rio (by his own admission). -Ervin specifically gave Marsh credit for working some black magic while training him. -Cullen Jones got third in the 50, which is very respectable against the likes of Adrian, Ervin, Dressel, Schneider, etc. (even Dressel botched a finish this past summer, costing him a medal in the 50 fly). -Multiple articles about Madison Kennedy have said she deviates from Marsh’s specific training regimen based on what she… Read more »


Just goes to show you. Anytime someone excels at what they do there’s always someone lining up to try to diminish their accomplishments.


In the time between my college swimming career ended and I started doing Masters, this turn became super popular (was there a rule change? I have no idea) and the breaststroke dolphin kick was added. I’ve played around with both in practice but I should work on them more. So, thanks for the tip!


If you have your kids do this at a meet watch it closely. At age group meets lots of inexperienced s&t officials DQ them for overrotating when they aren’t overrotating.

Coach Mike

One point of emphasis I use with my swimmers when teaching them this turn is to try and focus on keeping the “touch” arm behind or even with the ear facing up at the point of contact with the wall. This helps with avoiding over-rotation to the side/stomach. If they allow the arm to cross over in front of the face, they are much more likely to over-rotate (in my experience teaching/implementing it).

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